Purpose – This paper aims to construct a comprehensive theoretical framework for interpreting voluntary IC disclosure practices by organizations. Design/methodology/approach – Four most-commonly used theories in the area, namely agency theory, stakeholder theory, signalling theory, and legitimacy theory, were integrated in terms of the interrelated concepts relating to voluntary IC disclosure. Findings – The constructed theoretical framework includes three concepts: to reduce information asymmetry; to discharge accountability to various stakeholders; and to signal organizational legitimacy and excellence (or superior quality) to society, which are seen as motivations for organizations to disclose their IC on a voluntary basis. Research limitations/implications – The framework ignores some other theoretical perspectives which are also relevant to voluntary IC disclosure; the framework is not justified by any empirical evidence. Originality/value – This research is the first attempt to construct a comprehensive theoretical framework for the voluntary disclosure of IC; the constructed framework can be employed as a theoretical foundation for future empirical studies in relation to voluntary IC disclosure.
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